NEW DELHI, Dec 4 - The Supreme Court today allowed the Income Tax Department to re-assess the tax of top Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi for 2011-12 in connection with the National Herald case.
The apex court, however, restrained the department from �giving effect� to its order in the proceedings against Rahul, who is the Congress President, and his mother Sonia till the pendency of the matter before the court.
A bench of Justices A K Sikri, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer said that it is not going into the merit of the case but passing an interim order as the limitation period for completing the assessment is expiring.
�Since the limitation period for completing the assessment is expiring, in the meantime, it would be open to the Assessing Officer to complete the assessment and pass the assessment order as well. However, till the next date of hearing that would not be given effect,� the bench said.
The limitation period was to expire on December 31 and assessment has to be completed before that.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Income Tax department, said the court should not restrain it from implementing the assessment orders against the Gandhis and others.
He said the court should hear the matter and pass appropriate orders.
To this, the bench said, �It is just an interim order which should be equitable to both the parties.�
It further said: �We make it clear that since the matter is still at the preliminary stage and limitation is expiring, aforesaid course of action is adopted without going into the merits of the case.�
The court noted in the order that due to certain reasons it was not possible to take up the matter for hearing and the bench was not sitting in the afternoon session.
It adjourned the matter for further hearing on January 8, 2019.
The tax matter is related to the National Herald case in which the Congress leaders are also facing criminal proceedings. � PTI